Fungai Muderere/Maurice Kambukwe
MOMENT of truth!
TheA� Warriors face probably one of their biggest matches in their history when they clash with Namibia on Sunday in a game whose positive result will usher them into next yeara��s African Nations Championship (Chan) finals in Kenya.
The Sunday Chidzambwa-mentored side fell 1-0 to Namibia in the tournamenta��s Southern Zone second round first leg qualifier at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek last Sunday.
Team captain Ocean Mushure, who had a stellar performance for the countrya��s flagship team in the recently concluded Cosafa Castle Cup said they were after a big-margin straight win.
a�?An early goal will work in our favour becauseA� our opponents have also proved that they are not an easy team,a�? he said.
In the first leg, Hendrick Somaeba��s 51st minute strike separated the two teams who meet at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday for the decisive second leg, with the winner over two legs progressing to the final round to meet either Lesotho or Comoros.
The new-look Zimbabwe team that welcomed back Milton Ncube (How Mine), Peter Muduhwa, Simon Munawa (Highlanders) Ronald Chitiyo (CAPS United) goalkeeper Petros Mhari (FC Platinum) back into the Warriors fold, need to beat Namibia by at least a two-goal margin to stand a chance of progressing to the next edition of the Chan finals, a tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their respective domestic leagues.
Zimbabwe have qualified for all the previous four Chan finals since the inaugural edition in 2009 held in Cote da��Ivoire.
Meanwhile, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti told The Namibian newspaper that Zimbabwe remained the favourites going into Sundaya��s second leg.
a�?Zimbabwe are still the favourites; they have just won the Cosafa Cup, they have a lot of players and a lot of depth, and they will be playing at home. So we will have to prepare very well and play above ourselves. If we dona��t display the same fight, the same tempo and attitude, we will find the going very tough in Zimbabwe,a�? he said.
Mannetti dedicated the first leg victory to Namibiaa��s diehard fans.
a�?After Somaeb scored that spectacular goal I was praying that Zimbabwe dona��t equalise in order to cancel out the beautiful moment, and I think at that specific moment one could actually capture Namibian football in terms of what we went through over the past year. It was just good to see the fans jumping up and down and enjoying the moment, so this one clearly is for the fans,a�? he said.
a�?After everything we went through, we had a difficult year in Namibian football, so when you win a match, leta��s just celebrate the victory and let this win give every Namibian fan hope going forward,a�? he added.
Herbert Rusawo (Black Rhinos), Petros Mhari (FC Platinum), Takabva Mawaya (Ngezi Platinum).
Dennis Dauda (Yadah FC), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah), Jimmy Tigere (Harare City), Divine Lunga (Chicken Inn), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos), Milton Ncube (How Mine), Praise Tonha (How Mine), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Jameson Mukombwe (Black Rhinos).
Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), Ronald Chitiyo (Caps United), Innocent Mucheneka (Chicken Inn), Simon Munawa (Highlanders), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum),Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba), Talent Chawapiwa (FC Platinum), Denver Mukamba (Dynamos), Leroy Mavhunga (Yadah), Devon Chafa (Caps).
Abbas Amidu (Caps), Francisco Zekumbawire (ZPC Kariba), Prince Dube (Highlanders).